Saturday, January 19, 2019

[Herpetology • 2019] Cnemaspis nilgala • A New Species of the Genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Nilgala Savannah forest, Uva Province of Sri Lanka

Cnemaspis nilgala 
Karunarathna, Bauer, de Silva, Surasinghe, Somaratna, Madawala, Gabadage, Botejue, Henkanaththegedara & Ukuwela, 2019

Nilgala Day Gecko • නිල්ගල දිවාසැරි හූනා  ||  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4545.3.4  
Photos: Madhava Botejue  

A new species of Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 is described from Nilgala Savannah Forest in Sri Lanka. The new species is diagnosed from all other congeners by the following suite of characters: small body size (SVL< 33 mm), dorsal scales on trunk homogeneous, one pair of post mentals separated by a single small chin scale, ventral scales on trunk smooth, subimbricate, 17–19 scales across the belly. Subdigitals scansors smooth, entire, unnotched; lamellae under digit IV of pes 17 –18. Males with femoral pores on each thigh but lacking precloacal pores. Median row of subcaudals smooth, subimbricate, enlarged and in an irregular series of subhexagonal scales. This new species had been previously confused with Cnemaspis alwisi Wickramasinghe & Munidradasa, 2007. The new species differs from Cnemaspis alwisi by having 122–129 ventral scales (versus 146–152), 7–8 supralabials (versus 8–10), and relatively shorter SVL ranging between 31.5–32.9 mm (versus 37.8–39.9 mm). Further, the new species is genetically divergent from Cnemaspis alwisi, the species that it closely resembles by 13.5% and 7.8% from its sister species in the ND2 gene. The present discovery highlights the need for dedicated herpetofaunal explorations in Sri Lanka, especially the intermediate bioclimatic zone and associated cave systems and rock outcrops.

Keywords: Reptilia, Autecology, Conservation, Microendemic, Reproduction, Systematics, Threats

FIGURE 3. Cnemaspis nilgala sp. nov. male paratype (2018.06.02.NH) live in-situ (a) dorsolateral view of the full body; (b) dorsal view of the full body; (d) cloacal characters, femoral pores, and subcaudals pattern; (d) dorsal head; (e) lateral head; (f) ventral head; (g) smooth ventral area of the body; (h) subdigital lamellae on pes (Photos: Madhava Botejue).

Cnemaspis nilgala sp. nov.

Etymology. The species name is an eponym (nilgala) for the region it inhabits, the Nilgala savannah forest in Sri Lanka, formed here as a noun in apposition. 

Suggested vernacular names. The vernacular names suggested for the species are: Nilgala diva-sari huna - නිල්ගල දිවාසැරි හූනා (in Sinhala), Nilgala pahal-palli (in Tamil), Nilgala day gecko (in English).  

 Suranjan Karunarathna, Aaron M. Bauer, Anslem De Silva, Thilina Surasinghe, Lankani Somaratna, Majintha Madawala, Dinesh Gabadage, Madhava Botejue, Sujan M. Henkanaththegedara & Kanishka D. B. Ukuwela. 2019. Description of A New Species of the Genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Nilgala Savannah forest, Uva Province of Sri Lanka. Zootaxa. 4545(3); 389–407. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4545.3.4  

[Crustacea • 2019] Neocaridina fonticulata • A New Land-locked Freshwater Shrimp (Decapoda, Caridea, Atyidae) from Hengchun Peninsula, Taiwan

Neocaridina fonticulata  
Shih, Cai & Chiu, 2019

A new species of land-locked freshwater shrimp, Neocaridina fonticulata sp. n. (Atyidae), is described from Kenting, Hengchun Peninsula, Pingtung County, southern Taiwan. This new species can be distinguished from its congeners by rostrum structure, pereiopods, and male first and second pleopods. The molecular evidence of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) also supports the establishment of a new species. This is the third endemic species of Neocaridina known from Taiwan.

Keywords: Neocaridina fonticulata, mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I, new species, morphology

Figure 4. Live colouration of Neocaridina fonticulata sp. n. (A–D) and its habitat in Kenting, southern Taiwan (E–F). Specimens were collected from the type locality on 1 July 2015 and kept in aquarium for observation and photography.

Live colouration of Neocaridina fonticulata sp. n. (A–D).
Specimens were collected from the type locality on 1 July 2015 and kept in aquarium for observation and photography. 

 Neocaridina fonticulata sp. n., its habitat in Kenting, southern Taiwan (E–F). 

 Family Atyidae De Haan, 1849
Neocaridina Kubo, 1938
Neocaridina fonticulata sp. n. 

Figure 1. Neocaridina fonticulata sp. n.:
A carapace and cephalic appendages, lateral view B telson, dorsal view C preanal carina, lateral view D right scaphocerite and antenna, ventral view E right mandible F right maxillula G right maxilla H right 1st maxilliped I right 2nd maxilliped J right 3rd maxilliped. Scale bars: 1.5 mm (A); 0.5 mm (B, E–J); 1 mm (C, D) (male, cl 3.0 mm, paratype, ZRC 2018.1013).

Diagnosis: Rostrum short, straight, slightly sloping downwards, reaching mostly to end of 1st segment of antennular peduncle, rostral formula 1–3+8–15/1–4. Pterygostomian margin armed with an indistinct spine. 1st pereiopod carpus 1.2–1.5 × as long as high; chela 2.0–2.1 × as long as broad; fingers slightly longer than palm. 2nd pereiopod carpus 1.1–1.2 × as long as chela, 3.9–4.3 × as long as high; chela 2.1–2.3 × as long as broad; fingers 1.3–1.4 × as long as palm. 3rd pereiopod with propodus straight in females, slightly incurved in males, 2.7–3.0 × as long as dactylus; dactylus terminating in two claws, 4–6 accessory spines on flexor margin, strongly incurved in males. 5th pereiopod propodus 2.7–2.8 × as long as dactylus, dactylus terminating in one claw, with 46–54 spinules on flexor margin. Endopod of male 1st pleopod extending to 0.8 × exopod length, inflated at distal ¾, pyriform, 1.7 × as long as wide, appendix interna at base of inflated part, short. Appendix masculina of male 2nd pleopod cylindrical, reaching to 0.7 length of endopod, appendix interna reaching to 0.6 length of appendix masculina. Uropodal diaeresis with 13–14 movable spinules. Eggs 1.10 × 0.68 to 1.20 × 0.75 mm in diameter.

Etymology: Neocaridina fonticulata is named after its known habitat, from the Latin root, fonticulus, for little spring.

Ecological notes: Specimens of the new species were collected from leaf litter layer of a small stream (Figure 4E, F) next to a spring outlet at a limestone hill. The collection site consists of concretized substrate and banks, representing the headwater of the stream. The water flow is slow, cool temperature (about 25 °C), neutral (pH 7.06–7.16), and with moderately high dissolved oxygen (7.33–7.70 mg/L). The freshwater crabs, Candidiopotamon rathbuni (De Man, 1914) and Geothelphusa ferruginea Shy, Ng & Yu, 1994, were found to be sympatric with this new species. Ovigerous females were found in July.

Distribution: Presently known only from Sheding, Kenting, southern Taiwan.

 Hsi-Te Shih, Yixiong Cai and Yuh-Wen Chiu. 2019. Neocaridina fonticulata, A New Land-locked Freshwater Shrimp from Hengchun Peninsula, Taiwan (Decapoda, Caridea, Atyidae). ZooKeys. 817: 11-23.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.817.29332


[Paleontology • 2018] Phatthalungoceras srisuki • A New Genus and Species of Triassic Nautiloid Cephalopod (Cephalopoda: Orthoceratoidea, Orthoceratidae) from Eastern Peninsular Thailand

 Phatthalungoceras srisuki  

Tongtherm & Nabhitabhata, 2018

Phatthalungoceras srisuki gen. et sp. nov. (Orthoceratidae) has been collected from Khao Ok-Thalu, Chaiburi Formation, Triassic Strata in Phatthalung province, in eastern peninsular Thailand and is described as a new genus and species based on the characteristics of the internal mold of the phragmocone. The new genus is distinguished from other family members by its elliptical cross section of the conch as well as suborthochoanitic septal neck and free endosiphuncular deposit. Ornamentation is absent.

Keywords: new genus, new species, Triassic, nautiloid, Thailand

Figure 2. Phatthalungoceras srisuki of the phragmocone with suture on the posterior;
 2a. and 2b. cross section of anterior view of the phragmo5b. ventral view of the phragmocone with suture on the anterior; 5c. posterior view of the phragmocone with central siphuncle; 5d. cross section in posterior; 5e. and 5f. segmented siphuncle and suborthochoanitic septal neck at the posterior. Scale bar = 10 mm.

Kittichai Tongtherm and Jaruwat Nabhitabhata. 2018. Phatthalungoceras srisuki, A New Genus and Species of Triassic Nautiloid Cephalopod (Cephalopoda: Orthoceratoidea, Orthoceratidae) from Eastern Peninsular Thailand. Phuket Marine Biological Center Research Bulletin. 75:13-18. 

[Invertebrate • 2019] Polychaete meets Octopus: Symbiotic Relationship Between Spathochaeta octopodis gen. et sp. nov. (Annelida: Chrysopetalidae) and Octopus sp. (Mollusca: Octopodidae)

Spathochaeta octopodis
Jimi, Moritaki & Kajihara, 2019

Marine annelids in the subfamily Calamyzinae (family Chrysopetalidae) are either symbiotic or free-living forms that have been mainly reported from deep-sea chemosynthetic systems. Symbiotic calamyzines mainly live in the mantle cavity of bivalves in hydrothermal vents or cold seeps, but one species is also found to be inserted into the epidermis of polychaetes. We found a single specimen of calamyzine polychaete on the body surface of Octopus sp. collected in the Sea of Kumano (Japan), which represents the first known record of symbiotic association between polychaetes and octopuses. We described the specimen as Spathochaeta octopodis gen. et sp. nov. Spathochaeta gen. nov. can be discriminated from other genera in Calamyzinae by the presence of spatula-shaped notochaetae and dorsal chaetal lobes. We also provided the phylogenetic position of S. octopodis gen. et sp. nov. within Chrysopetalidae based on four gene markers (COI, 16S, 18S, H3). 

Key words: marine invertebrates; Pacific; parasite; phylogeny; Polychaeta; taxonomy

Fig. 1. Live specimen of  Spathochaeta octopodis gen. et sp. nov. on Octopus sp.
A, full view of the octopus: white arrow indicates the worm.
B, enlarged view of the worm on the octopus web. Scale bar: A, 1 cm.

Chrysopetalidae Ehlers, 1864 
Calamyzinae Hartmann-Schröder, 1971 

Spathochaeta gen. nov. 
[New Japanese name: tako-yadori-gokai-zoku]

 Type species: Spathochaeta octopodis gen. et sp. nov.

 Etymology: The new genus name, feminine in gender, derives from the Latin spatha (spatula) and chaeta (mane, hair), referring to the spatula-shaped notopodial chaetae, which are characteristic for the new genus. 

Remarks: Within Calamyzinae, notopodia having notochaetae are found not only in Spathochaeta but also in Boundemos Watson et al., 2016; Microspina Watson et al., 2016; and Vigtorniella Kiseleva, 1992 (Aguado et al., 2013; Kiseleva, 1992; Watson et al., 2016). Spathochaeta differs from these three genera in having dorsal chaetal lobes and simple spatular chaetae on notopodia. The molecular analysis indicated the new genus is sister to Calamyzas Arwidsson, 1932 (see 'Molecular analysis' sectionbelow). The new genus can be discriminated from Calamyzas by the following features: (i) absence of dorsal lobe; (ii) absence of notochaeta; (iii) having only one type of chaeta (compound chaeta) (Aguado et al., 2013).

 Spathochaeta octopodis gen. et sp. nov. 
[New Japanese name: tako-yadori-gokai]

Etymology: The new specific name is a noun in the genitive case of the Latin octopus, indicating the host organism of the new species. 

Habitat: Spathochaeta octopodis gen. et sp. nov. was collected from the external body surface of Octopus sp. (Fig. 1). Our observation that the living specimen of S. octopodis kept attaching on the octopus’ body surface for three days strongly supports a symbiotic relation between the species and the octopus, instead of an accidental attachment. When alive, the worm was observed to move around from the mantle to web of the host octopus. However, further findings and observations on the behaviour of the species are required to confirm the postulated symbiotic association. The octopus was collected from off Owase, the Kumano Sea, off central Japan, eastern North Pacific, 150 m depth.

Naoto Jimi, Takeya Moritaki and Hiroshi Kajihara. 2019.  Polychaete meets Octopus: Symbiotic Relationship Between Spathochaeta octopodis gen. et sp. nov. (Annelida: Chrysopetalidae) and Octopus sp. (Mollusca: Octopodidae).  Systematics and Biodiversity. DOI:  10.1080/14772000.2018.1520753  

[Crustacea • 2018] Cambarus loughmani • A New Species of Crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) endemic to the Pre-glacial Teays River Valley in West Virginia, USA

Cambarus loughmani
Foltz, Sadecky, Fetzner & Thoma

in Foltz, Sadecky, Myers, Fetzner, Welsh, Stocker, Glon & Thoma, 2018. 

Blue Teays Mudbug  ||

A new species of crayfishCambarus loughmani sp. nov., is described from the preglacial Teays River Valley of Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Mason, and Putnam counties, West Virginia. The species was previously considered to be part of the Cambarus dubius complex. Loughman et al. restricted C. dubius to an orange colour morph found in central and northern portions of the Allegheny Mountains and Appalachian Plateau in central West Virginia, western Maryland, and south-central Pennsylvania. The new species described herein can be distinguished from all other members of Cambarus Erichson, 1846 by a double row of cristiform tubercles on the palm, an open areola with two rows of punctations, and a consistent blue colouration.

KEYWORDSAppalachian Plateau, Cambarus, crayfish, new species, West Virginia

Figure 3. Dorsal view of a female specimen of Cambarus loughmani collected from the type locality, burrows adjacent to Little Island Creek, Lincoln County, West Virginia, displaying typical life colours for the species.
Photo by Guenter Schuster.

Cambarus loughmani Foltz, Sadecky, Fetzner and Thoma sp. nov.
 Cambarus dubius Faxon 1884: 114 [in part]. Faxon 1885: 70, pl. 4: fig. 3; pl. 8: figs 7, 7ʹ [in part]; Dewees 1972: 1, figs 1b–l, 2c–h, 3, 4, 5b–h, 6–16 [in part]. 
Cambarus carolinus dubius.–Faxon 1914: 396, 425 [in part]. 
Cambarus (Jugicambarus) dubius.–Hobbs and Bouchard 1973: 62 [in part]; Hobbs 1974: 18, fig. 60 [in part]; Hobbs 1989: 22, fig. 78 [in part]; Jezerinac et al. 1995: 121, fig. 61 [in part]. 
Cambarus aff. dubius. – Loughman et al. 2015: 534 [in part].

Etymology: The authors of this paper name this crayfish in honour of Dr Zachary J. Loughman, assistant professor of biology, West Liberty University. In recent years, prior to the naming of this species, Dr Loughman has served as one of the primary astacological researchers, contributing greatly to our understanding of ecology, taxonomy, conservation and distribution of Appalachian crayfish species. It is fitting that this crayfish be named in his honour, as both he and this crayfish are reclusive, hard to track down, and when faced with adversity never back down and often advance with arms flailing. The authors of this paper are composed of a mix of age classes. For the younger authors, Dr Loughman has served as a teacher, advisor and mentor. For the older authors he has served as a colleague, collaborator and student. For all of us, he has been a friend and an inspiration. Common name: The suggested common name for this species is Blue Teays Mudbug as it inhabits the Teays River Valley.

David A. Foltz II, Nicole M. Sadecky, Greg A. Myers, James W. Fetzner Jr., Stuart A. Welsh, G. Whitney Stocker, Mael G. Glon and Roger F. Thoma. 2018. 
Cambarus loughmani, A New Species of Crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) endemic to the Pre-glacial Teays River Valley in West Virginia, USA. Journal of Natural History.  52(45-46);  DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2018.1557271 

Friday, January 18, 2019

[Herpetology • 2019] Diploderma drukdaypo • A New Species of Dwarf Japalura sensu lato (Squamata: Agamidae) from the upper Mekong River in Eastern Tibet, China, with Notes on Morphological Variation, Distribution, and Conservation of Two Congeners Along the Same River

Diploderma drukdaypo 

Wang, Ren, Jiang, Zou, Wu, Che & Siler, 2019

Dwarf Mountain Dragon  || DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4544.4.3 
Japalura drukdaypo

Despite being recognized as ecologically and biogeographically important, the biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountain Region, particularly along the upper Mekong River, remains poorly understood. Here we describe a new species of Mountain Dragon of the genus Japalura sensu lato Gray, 1853 from the headwater region of the Mekong River in Chamdo, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. The species is recognized as a member of the Japalura flaviceps Barbour & Dunn 1919 complex, and it can be distinguished readily from all congeners by a suite of morphological characteristics, including its dwarf appearance (small body size and disproportionally short tails and short hind limbs), smooth or weakly keeled ventral scales, feebly developed vertebral crests in males, and by the absence of distinct gular spots in males and females. In addition to the description of the new species, we also report morphological variations and range extensions of two recently described congeners along the same river, namely J. iadina and J. vela. We discuss the distribution patterns of the genus in the Hengduan Mountain Region and the urgent conservation priorities for protecting Japalura species along the Mekong River. According to our best available data, we provided IUCN assessments of the three species and propos to list them as nationally protected under the Chinese Wildlife Protection Act.

Keywords: Reptilia, cryptic diversity, habitat destruction, lizard, new record, Three Parallel Rivers, Yunnan

FIGURE 2. Holotype male (left; KIZ 027619) and paratopotype female (right, KIZ 027617) of Japalura drukdaypo sp. nov. in life. Photos by Kai WANG.

FIGURE 5. Comparisons of live males (columns 1, 2) and females (columns 3, 4) among Japalura drukdaypo sp. nov. (row A), J. batangensis (row B), J. vela (row C), J. laeviventris (row D), and J. flaviceps (row E). Photos by Kai WANG and Xu ZHANG.

Etymology. The species name, drukdaypo, was derived from the pronunciation of the Kham Tibetan word that means “dwarf dragon”, which describes the diagnostic dwarf-morphology of the new species. We name the new species using Kham Tibetan in honor of the local culture and people, as well as their positive impacts on wildlife conservation.
Suggested English common name is: Dwarf Mountain Dragon, and the suggested Chinese common name is .... (Pinying: Zhu Pan Xi).  


Kai Wang, Ke Jiang, Jinlong Ren, Dahu Zou, Jiawei Wu, Jing Che and Cameron D. Siler. 2019. A New Species of Dwarf Japalura sensu lato (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae) from the upper Mekong River in Eastern Tibet, China, with Notes on Morphological Variation, Distribution, and Conservation of Two Congeners Along the Same River. Zootaxa. 4544(4); 505–522.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4544.4.3 

After almost two years, our manuscript finally gets published! A new species of dwarf Japalura sensu lato, Japalura drukdaypo (was still Japalura when we first submitted it, and now it should be Diploderma after our generic revision) from the upper Mekong River Valley in eastern Tibet, China. The species name, drukdaypo, is derived from Kham Tibetan, which means "dwarf dragon".

Thursday, January 17, 2019

[Paleontology • 2019] Reverse-engineering the Locomotion of A Stem Amniote, Orobates pabsti

Photomontage of OroBOT and reconstructed Orobates pabsti 

Nyakatura, Melo, Horvat, et al., 2019. 

Reconstructing the locomotion of extinct vertebrates offers insights into their palaeobiology and helps to conceptualize major transitions in vertebrate evolution. However, estimating the locomotor behaviour of a fossil species remains a challenge because of the limited information preserved and the lack of a direct correspondence between form and function. The evolution of advanced locomotion on land—that is, locomotion that is more erect, balanced and mechanically power-saving than is assumed of anamniote early tetrapods—has previously been linked to the terrestrialization and diversification of amniote lineages. To our knowledge, no reconstructions of the locomotor characteristics of stem amniotes based on multiple quantitative methods have previously been attempted: previous methods have relied on anatomical features alone, ambiguous locomotor information preserved in ichnofossils or unspecific modelling of locomotor dynamics. Here we quantitatively examine plausible gaits of the stem amniote Orobates pabsti, a species that is known from a complete body fossil preserved in association with trackways8. We reconstruct likely gaits that match the footprints, and investigate whether Orobates exhibited locomotor characteristics that have previously been linked to the diversification of crown amniotes. Our integrative methodology uses constraints derived from biomechanically relevant metrics, which also apply to extant tetrapods. The framework uses in vivo assessment of locomotor mechanics in four extant species to guide an anatomically informed kinematic simulation of Orobates, as well as dynamic simulations and robotics to filter the parameter space for plausible gaits. The approach was validated using two extant species that have different morphologies, gaits and footprints. Our metrics indicate that Orobates exhibited more advanced locomotion than has previously been assumed for earlier tetrapods7,9, which suggests that advanced terrestrial locomotion preceded the diversification of crown amniotes. We provide an accompanying website for the exploration of the filters that constrain our simulations, which will allow revision of our approach using new data, assumptions or methods.

Photomontage of OroBOT and reconstructed Orobates pabsti by Jonas Lauströer, Amir Andikfar and John A. Nyakatura; photo of OroBOT from Tomislav Horvat and Kamilo Melo.

John A. Nyakatura, Kamilo Melo, Tomislav Horvat, Kostas Karakasiliotis, Vivian R. Allen, Amir Andikfar, Emanuel Andrada, Patrick Arnold, Jonas Lauströer, John R. Hutchinson, Martin S. Fischer and Auke J. Ijspeert. 2019. Reverse-engineering the Locomotion of A Stem Amniote. Nature. 565; 351–355.   DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0851-2 

Scientists Used a Robot to Study How Prehistoric Lizards Walked via @SmithsonianMag
Ancient animal walked tall, surprising scientists via @NatGeoScience

[Botany • 2019] Pamianthe ecollis (Amaryllidaceae) • A Remarkable New Species of Pamianthe from the Department of Cauca, Colombia

Pamianthe ecollis  Silverst., Meerow & Sánchez-Taborda

in Meerow, Silverstone-Sopkin, Zuluaga-Tróchez & Sánchez-Taborda, 2019.

A new saxicolous species of Amaryllidaceae tentatively assigned to the tribe Clinantheae, Pamianthe ecollis Silverst., Meerow & Sánchez-Taborda, is described from the western slope of the Cordillera Occidental in the department of Cauca, Colombia. The new species differs from the two hitherto known species of Pamianthe in its yellow flowers and in its nearly obsolete perianth tube. The near loss of the perianth tube may be correlated with a change in pollinator. The new species lacks a bulb; it produces a large number of winged seeds that are wind-dispersed. A key to the species of Pamianthe is provided. This is the first record of the genus Pamianthe for Colombia. The phylogenetic position of the genus Pamianthe is discussed.

Keywords: Amaryllidaceae, biodiversity, Cauca, Clinantheae, Colombia, Pamianthe, Andes

Figure 1. Pamianthe ecollis.
 A Pamianthe ecollis growing in its native habitat, on a steep, rocky bank B Base of plant C Habit D Inflorescence E Flower, lateral view F Flower, front view
A photo by Fredy Gómez-Ortiz B photo by Laura Clavijo C–F type collection, photographs taken in the field by Jhon A. Sánchez-Taborda.

Pamianthe ecollis Silverst., Meerow & Sánchez-Taborda, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: This species differs from both Pamianthe parviflora Meerow and P. peruviana Stapf in having a yellow perianth and staminal cup (versus white) and in nearly lacking a perianth tube. Additionally, it differs from P. parviflora in having shorter pedicels, a longer ovary, and more numerous ovules, and from P. peruviana in having much longer pedicels, more flowers per umbel, much shorter tepals, a shorter staminal cup that is not exserted from the perianth, and a smaller fruit.

Etymology: The specific epithet is from Latin, e (without), collum (neck), adjectival collis, referring to the almost absent perianth tube of this species.

 Alan W. Meerow, Philip A. Silverstone-Sopkin, Alejandro Zuluaga-Tróchez and Jhon A. Sánchez-Taborda. 2019. A Remarkable New Species of Pamianthe (Amaryllidaceae) from the Department of Cauca, Colombia.  PhytoKeys. 115: 73-82.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.115.30755


Resumen: Se describe una nueva especie de Amaryllidaceae tentativamente perteneciente a la tribu Clinantheae, Pamianthe ecollis Silverst., Meerow & Sánchez-Taborda, procedente de la vertiente occidental de la cordillera Occidental en el departamento del Cauca, Colombia. La nueva especie difiere de las dos especies conocidas de Pamianthe por su perianto amarillo que tiene un tubo casi ausente. La reducción del tubo del perianto probablemente tiene correlación con un cambio en el polinizador. La nueva especie carece de un bulbo, y produce numerosas semillas aladas que se dispersan por el viento. Se provee una clave a las especies de Pamianthe. Este es el primer registro del género Pamianthe para Colombia. Se discute la posición filogenética del género Pamianthe.

[Botany • 2018] Citharexylum peruvianum (Verbenaceae) • A New Species of Citharexylum from the Andean Foothills of Peru

Citharexylum peruvianum  N.O’Leary & Frost

in O'Leary & Frost, 2018. 

A new species of Citharexylum from the foothills of inter-Andean dry valleys in Peru, Citharexylum peruvianum, is described and illustrated herein. It is distinguished from other closely related species with caulinar spines (C. andinum, C. flexuosum, C. herrerae, C. montevidense, and C. weberbaueri), by inflorescence morphology, leaf size, and pubescence. The newly defined taxon has 15–40 flowered racemes, rachis 7–12 cm long, and coriaceous leaves, with the leaf blade being 4–6(8) × 2–3 cm and densely hirsute on the abaxial surface. A brief discussion on closely related species is provided. Citharexylum peruvianum is known exclusively from northwestern Peru, from the departments of Cajamarca, Lambayeque, and La Libertad. The species grows in the Andean foothills at mid-elevations between 1400 and 3000 m a. s. l., in rocky soils and on steep slopes with thorny scrubland. It is occasionally found in moist areas. This species has a restricted distribution and limited numbers of individuals, which will likely result in threatened status following formal review.

Fig. 2. Citharexylum peruvianum.
A–B. Habitat. C–D. Fruiting individuals. E. Fruiting raceme, large fruits plus one small bright orange fruit. F. Axillary racemes, recently fallen flowers, not congested, distanced. G. Spiny stem with flowering racemes. H. Flowering raceme. A, C, E from Frost and Tyson 99 (WTU); B, D from Frost and Tyson 121 (WTU); F, G, H from Frost and Tyson 100 (WTU).

Citharexylum peruvianum N.O’Leary & Frost, sp. nov.  

Etymology— The specific epithet refers to the species distribution in Peru, not having been found in other countries at the moment.

Nataly O'Leary and Laura Frost. 2018. A New Species of Citharexylum (Verbenaceae) from the Andean Foothills of Peru. Systematic Botany. 43(4); 1046-1051.  DOI: 10.1600/036364418X697733

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

[Herpetology • 2018] Enyalius capetinga • A New Species of Enyalius (Squamata, Leiosauridae) Endemic to the Brazilian Cerrado

Enyalius capetinga
Breitman, Domingos, Bagley, Wiederhecker, Ferrari, et al., 2018.

We describe a new species of Enyalius endemic to the Brazilian Cerrado, based on morphological and molecular data sets. In the face of uncertain taxonomy among museum specimens of Enyalius, we used a novel analytical approach based on Gaussian mixture modeling for species assignments. We also used a machine-learning classification procedure (random forests) to investigate morphological variation and identify species diagnostic characters. Phylogenetic and species delimitation analyses supported the distinction of the new species from its congeners. The new species is characterized by the fewest ventral scales and smallest snout–vent length in the genus. Moreover, we infer that this species diverged from its closest relative, E. bilineatus, in the late Miocene, presumably after colonization of Cerrado gallery forests by an Atlantic Forest ancestor, followed by ecological or geographical speciation linked to shrinkage or fragmentation of gallery forests associated with global cooling and increased aridity. Rapid conversion of natural habitats, the isolation of protected areas, and recent changes to the Brazilian Forest Code pose serious threats to the conservation of the new species described herein, and other gallery forest inhabitants.

Keywords: Brazil, Conservation, DNA barcoding, Integrative taxonomy, Molecular data, Morphological data

FIG. 5.— Photograph of the Enyalius capetinga holotype (CHUNB 74591,adult male). Inset shows ventral aspect of specimen (photo credits: M.F.Breitman and C.J.S. Morais). 

Enyalius capetinga sp. nov.

Etymology.— The specific epithet of this species is a Portuguese word that refers to Capetinga Creek, located in Fazenda Água Limpa, property of Universidade de Brasília, ~7 km SW of the type locality, where GRC collected the first specimens of Enyalius capetinga in November 1987. Capetinga is formed by the combination of the Tupinamba ́language (Tupi-Guarani) words‘‘kapi’’’(grass) and‘‘tinga’’(dry/white), meaning ‘‘dry grass.’’ We also chose this name for the resemblance with‘‘capeta,’’a Portuguese word for‘‘devil’’or‘‘bugbear.’’ Sometimes, while conducting our investigation and dealing with the complex interactions of academic life, we felt as if the capeta was coming to get us!

Pattern polymorphism in Enyalius capetinga sp. nov.

M. Florencia Breitman, Fabricius M.C.B. Domingos, Justin C. Bagley, Helga C. Wiederhecker, Tayná B. Ferrari, Vitor H.G.L. Cavalcante, André C. Pereira, Tarcísio L.S. Abreu, Anderson Kennedy Soares De-Lima, Carlos J.S. Morais, Ana C.H. del Prette, Izabella P.M.C. Silva, Rodrigo de Mello, Gabriela Carvalho, Thiago M. de Lima, Anandha A. Silva, Caroline Azevedo Matias, Gabriel C. Carvalho, João A.L. Pantoja, Isabella Monteiro Gomes, Ingrid Pinheiro Paschoaletto, Gabriela Ferreira Rodrigues, Ângela V.C. Talarico, André F. Barreto-Lima and Guarino R. Colli. 2018. A New Species of Enyalius (Squamata, Leiosauridae) Endemic to the Brazilian Cerrado. Herpetologica. 74(4); 355-369.  DOI: 10.1655/Herpetologica-D-17-00041.1  

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

[Crustacea • 2019] Lacunicambarus chimera • A New Species of Burrowing Crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee

Lacunicambarus chimera Glon & Thoma,

in Glon, Thoma, Daly & Freudenstein, 2019. 
Crawzilla Crawdad  ||  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4544.4.1
Photo by Guenter Schuster.

Lacunicambarus diogenes (Girard 1852) was, until recently, considered to be one of the most widely distributed North American crayfish species, occurring in 31 U.S. States and one Canadian province east of the North American Rocky Mountains. Glon et al. (2018) investigated this claim and found that L. diogenes sensu lato was actually a species complex. The authors redescribed L. diogenes and restricted its range to the Atlantic Coastal Plain and Piedmont ecoregions of eastern North America. In doing so, they also revealed the existence of several probable undescribed species of Lacunicambarus that were previously considered to be L. diogenes. Here, we use morphological and molecular techniques to distinguish and describe one of these species: Lacunicambarus chimera sp. nov., a large primary burrowing crayfish found in parts of the Lower Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Upper Mississippi River Basins. Lacunicambarus chimera is morphologically similar to L. diogenes, from which it can be distinguished by the greater number of spines on the ventrolateral margin of its merus, its wider antennal scale terminating in a short spine, and the presence of a single longitudinal stripe on the dorsal side of its abdomen. We also provide an updated key to Lacunicambarus.

Keywords: Crustacea, burrowing crayfish, systematics, taxonomy, revision, North America, freshwater, Old Ohio River

FIGURE 6. Dorsal view of Form I holotypic male of Lacunicambarus chimera (OSUMC 10650).
Photo by Guenter Schuster.

Family Cambaridae Hobbs 1942 
Genus Lacunicambarus (Hobbs 1969) 

Lacunicambarus chimera Glon & Thoma sp. nov.

Cambarus obesus Forbes 1876:6 [in part]. 
Cambarus diogenes Hay 1895:478 [in part]. Ortmann 1905:123 [in part]. Rhoades 1944:111 [in part]. Eberly 1954:283 [in part]. Brown 1955:62 [in part]. Marlow 1960:229 [in part]. Page 1985:433 [in part]. Page & Mottesi 1995:23 [in part]. Taylor et al. 1996:29 [in part]. Simon 2001:104 [in part]. Taylor et al. 2007:382 [in part]. Taylor & Schuster 2004:80 [in part]. Taylor Schuster & Wylie 2015:66 [in part]. 
Cambarus diogenes diogenes Marlow 1960:233 [in part]. 
Cambarus (Lacunicambarus) diogenes diogenes Hobbs 1969:110 [in part]; 1974:20 [in part]. Bouchard 1972:56 [in part]; 1974:595 [in part]. 
Cambarus (Lacunicambarus) diogenes Hobbs 1989: 24 [in part]. Thoma et al. 2005:334 [in part]. Thoma & Armitage 2008:iii [in part]. 
Cambarus cf. diogenes Glon 2017:55.
 Lacunicambarus aff. diogenes Glon et al. 2018:604 [in part].

Diagnosis. Eyes pigmented, not reduced. Rostrum curved downwards in lateral view, margins converging, slightly thickened, without marginal spines or tubercles, lacking median carina, shallowly excavated. Acumen distinctly delimited basally by 45° angles. Cephalothorax cylindrical, with 3–10 (mean ± sd: 6 ± 1) small tubercles lining posterior margin of cervical groove. Anteroventral branchiostegal tubercles small, numbering 8–29 (mean ± sd: 18 ± 4). Suborbital angle acute. Postorbital ridges developed, lacking anterior spine or tubercle. Areola obliterated, constituting, in adults, 38–45% (mean ± sd: 42 ± 0 %) of entire length of cephalothorax. Antennal scale 2.41 to 3.35 (mean ± sd: 2.80 ± 0.18) times as long as wide, broadest distal to midlength, terminating in small spine, mesial margin forming straight edge. Dorsomesial margin of palm of chelae with 3 rows of tubercles, mesial-most row normally consisting of 6–10 (mean ± sd: 7 ± 1) probolos tubercles, running parallel to second row with 4–9 (mean ± sd: 6 ± 1) probolos tubercles, third row running diagonally from mesial base of palm to lateral dactyl articulation in the form of 5–8 (mean ± sd: 7 ± 1) subprobolos tubercles located in shallow dimples. No tufts of elongated setae at mesial base of fixed finger. Opposable margin of dactyl weakly concave at base. Ratio of dactyl length to palm length 1.78–2.49 (mean ± sd: 2.10 ± 0.16). Dorsomedian longitudinal ridges of dactyl and fixed finger of propodus weakly developed. Dorsolateral impression at base of propodus moderate. Ventral surface of chelae with 0–5 (mean ± sd: 2 ± 1) subpalmar tubercles. Mesial margin of dactyl with 12–33 (mean ± sd: 22 ± 4) prominent tubercles. Ventral surface of carpus with single spine on mesial articular rim, mesial margin with 4–10 (mean ± sd: 7 ± 1) spines of varying sizes. Merus spines numbering 2–9 (mean: 5 ± 2) on ventrolateral margin and 7–16 (mean ± sd: 11 ± 2) on ventromesial margin. Mesial ramus of uropod with distomedian spine not reaching caudal margin. Gonopods of Form I males contiguous at base, with moderately pronounced umbo near midlength of caudal surface; terminal elements consisting of 1) short, tapering, distally truncate central projection lacking subapical notch, shorter than mesial process, directed caudally at approximately 90°, reaching past margin of umbo, 2) mesial process with conical base tipped with protruding finger, directed caudally at approximately 90° and overreaching umbo by noticeable amount and 3) inconspicuous caudal knob sometimes present at caudolateral base of central projection. Hooks on ischium of third pereiopods only. Female with annulus ventralis subquadrangular or kiteshaped, approximately as long as wide, rather deeply embedded in sternum, flexible, with posterior half sclerotized and anterior half mildly pliable.

Ecological Notes. As mentioned above, Lacunicambarus chimera is a primary burrowing crayfish species. Like other Lacunicambarus species, L. chimera is commonly dug from burrows in fine-grained soils along the floodplains of streams and rivers and in roadside ditches. We have also collected this species in burrows on the banks of manmade ponds and in ditches that were lined with large stones. The chimneys at the mouths of L. chimera burrows are often large and conspicuous, attaining heights of 30 cm or more. These burrows, like those of other primary burrowing crayfishes, provide habitat for many other organisms (e.g., Creaser 1931; Pintor & Soluk 2006; Thoma & Armitage 2008). Glon & Thoma (2017) specifically documented the use of L. chimera burrows as brooding burrows by eastern cicada killer wasps in Pike County, Indiana. 

Little is known about the ecology of L. chimera in situ, but specimens which we have kept in laboratory aquariums have readily consumed a variety of aquarium fish foods, snails, earth worms, and leaf litter from streams, suggesting that this species is an opportunistic omnivore. These specimens were mostly active at night, when they foraged around their enclosures. During the day, they rested inside of artificial burrows made from PVC pipes, occasionally twitching their antennae in response to stimuli. They did not appear to be particularly aggressive, compared to other crayfish species.

Crayfish Associates. We collected the following primary and secondary-burrowing crayfishes from burrows at sites where we found Lacunicambarus chimera: Creaserinus fodiens (Cottle 1863), C. hortoni (Hobbs & Fitzpatrick 1970), Faxonius immunis (Hagen 1870), L. ludovicianus, L. polychromatus, L. aff. polychromatus, Procambarus acutus (Girard 1852), P. clarkii (Girard 1852), P. gracilis (Bundy in Forbes 1876) and P. viaeviridis (Faxon 1914). While sampling for L. chimera, we focused primarily on sampling for burrowing crayfishes and therefore do not have records of the tertiary-burrowing crayfishes that undoubtedly inhabit open water adjacent to L. chimera burrows. 

Etymology. Our choice of the species epithet “chimera” stems from our first encounter with this species. The first specimens that we caught were freshly molted young adults (approximately 30 mm CL). These specimens bore a bright longitudinal gladiate stripe reminiscent of the stripe in L. ludovicianus, L. miltus, and some populations of L. polychromatus. The bright colors on these specimens were similar to those found in L. polychromatus, and the general shape of these specimens was reminiscent of L. diogenes. These features made L. chimera appear to be a chimera of multiple Lacunicambarus species. To honor the nickname given to this species when it was first discovered by Ray Jezerinac and Whitney Stocker, and also as a reference to its impressive size, we suggest the common name “Crawzilla Crawdad.” 

Mael G. Glon, Roger F. Thoma, Marymegan Daly and John V. Freudenstein. 2019.  Lacunicambarus chimera: A New Species of Burrowing Crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Zootaxa. 4544(4); 451–478.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4544.4.1